Temple Judea’s clergy team approach allows each of our rabbis, cantor and chaplain to specialize in the areas they enjoy the most and in which they excel. Our team concept also fits with our egalitarian culture that encourages teamwork and openness.
In addition to offering outstanding leadership on the Bimah, Temple Judea also provides many opporunities for our members to build personal relationships with our clergy, who are available to our members for life cycle events, pastoral care, or to discuss private matters.
We are thrilled to welcome Rabbi Strom to our bima to lead adult day and evening services during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Rabbi Strom also leads some additional programs for us throughout the year. Check back on our website and watch the calendar for upcoming dates.
Rabbi Strom is well known in Bucks County as Founding Rabbi and now Rabbi Emeritus of Shir Ami. He retired in 2014 after 35 years as the full time senior rabbi. As spiritual leader of Shir Ami, Rabbi Strom served and contributed to the boards of directors of many community organizations, including his advocacy on behalf of the American Red Cross Homeless Shelter and Habitat for Humanity. In 2015 Rabbi Strom completed and published his first novel, Rabbi, Run.
About once a month, Rabbi Simon spends a weekend with us at Temple Judea. During those weekends, he leads Friday night services, and on Saturday morning leads Torah study (9:00 am) and then teaches Kabbalah (10:30 am).
Rabbi Simon began leading programs at Temple Judea in 2016, and joined our clergy team in January 2017. He has been a student and teacher of spirituality for the past 40 years, and was ordained in 1985 by the great contemporary kabbalist, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l. Rabbi Simon also has studied with teachers of Sufism, Western Mysticism, Wicca, Buddhism, and Shamanism. He is currently a board member, teacher and monk-in-training at the Pine Wind Zen Center in Shamong, N.J. Rabbi Simon is rabbi emeritus for Temple Har Zion in Mt. Holly, N.J., where he served for the past 30 years, and is a full-time hospice chaplain.
Rabbi Koch leads Friday night services, teaches Torah study, and performs other rabbinic functions for Temple Judea at various times scheduled throughout the year. She is a professionally trained clinical chaplain, and currently serves as spiritual support counselor at Samaritan Health Care and Hospice in Cherry Hill, N.J. She also serves as the rabbinic liaison to Sukkat Shalom, Samaritan’s Jewish hospice program.
Rabbi Koch previously has served as rabbi at several congregations, including Congregation Agudath Shalom in Lynchburg, Va., M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, N.J. and Shir Ami in Newtown, Pa. She was rabbi and director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Shalom of Lower Bucks County, prior to its merger with Shir Ami. She also served as rabbi and director of education at Beit Haverim/SMJC in Lake Oswego, Ore.
Rabbi Koch earned her master of arts in Hebrew letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where she received rabbinic ordination in 2006. She received her bachelor of arts degree from The City College of the City University of New York, and graduated magna cum laude from New York Law School. Before entering rabbinical school, Rabbi Koch practiced law in New York.
Rabbi Koch takes great pride in her son, his beautiful wife, and her two amazing granddaughters, who live in the greater Los Angeles area.
Cantor Frimark leads many ritual services at Temple Judea and he has been working with our students to develop a youth band to participate in upcoming services. He works with our B’nai Mitzvah students and leads the services as they become B’nai Mitzvah. In addition, he leads Family Services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, frequently leads Friday night Shabbat services throughout the year, and leads Torah study whenever he is present for a Saturday morning Shabbat service His musical knowledge and expertise as well as his friendliness and rapport with people of all ages are evident to all who observe him at work teaching in our Religious School, leading children’s singing sessions for Small Wonders at Temple Judea, and leading Munchkin Minyans.
Cantor Frimark’s involvement in the Jewish community and Jewish music started at a young age. He developed his love of singing and Jewish music as a member of the Temple Sinai Youth Chorale. While in high school, he formed a Jewish rock band, N’shamah, which performed at functions throughout the Philadelphia area. N’shamah later morphed into Shir Chadash, which, for the next 25 years, became the “go-to” band in the area for Jewish music. During these years, Cantor Frimark was emcee for many Israel Independence Day celebrations and performed at rallies in support of Soviet Jewry.
As cantor of Ohev Shalom of Bucks County for 20 years, he officiated or co-officiated at countless weddings, B’nai Mitzvah, baby namings, funerals, shiva minyanim, unveilings and other life cycle events. Cantor Frimark is a graduate of Gratz College Jewish Community High School and Temple University, and also earned a graduate certificate in Jewish music and a master of arts in Jewish music from Gratz College.
Leah Gilboa Hill
We are very excited to welcome Leah Gilboa Hill back to Temple Judea. Leah formerly worked for Temple Judea as B’nai Mitzvah Tutor and Para-Rabbi. She has returned in the role of Chaplain to support the pastoral needs of the congregation. Leah keeps in touch with our home-bound congregants, makes hospital and home visits, officiates at funerals and shiva services as well as baby namings, and supports community members through the grieving process after the loss of a loved one. She has also returned to her role as B’nai Mitzvah Tutor.
Leah has more than twenty years’ experience as a chaplain in both synagogue and hospital settings. She also serves as Para-Rabbi and Chaplain for Doylestown Health’s Pine Run Retirement Community. She trained as a chaplain at Thomas Jefferson University and Penn Foundation Behavioral Healthcare in Sellersville. Leah earned her BA in Liturgy and a Masters in Jewish Studies with emphasis on Ancient Rabbinic Text from Gratz College.